YUSU’s ‘We Are Golden’ Employability Week is something that should be lauded. Despite the fact the title of the campaign sounds like a tribute to the music of Mika, it is about time that everyone at the University focused on the issue of our dire employability.
For a top ten University, the percentage of our students achieving graduate level employment is embarrassing. We should be competing with the likes of Imperial College, London, not be 20% less likely than their students to be employed at a graduate level. This vital issue is one that needs to be raised, especially for first year students who may have picked York primarily on the strength of its apparent competitive nature.
The University, YUSU and the students need to pull together to make sure that our employment prospects do not remain miles behind our supposed competitors. Anything that can be done, be it the by the University via the Careers Service or by YUSU with campaigns such as this one, can only be positive in terms of making sure that students are aware of their employability potential, as well as what they can do to improve it. Factors such as geography cannot be managed, but it is crucial that students are made aware of the difficulties facing them once they graduate.
The need for the University to centre on this problem is made even more pertinent by the survey that preceded the campaign week. Over 1000 students signed a petition urging them to pay more attention to careers.
It can only be a good thing if YUSU and the University combine in aid of the students’ well-being, particularly if it’s in an area where York students traditionally struggle. Here’s hoping that ‘We Are Golden’ doesn’t have us “running around like a clown on purpose”, but if it goes a little way to improving our employability, then that’s something that we can all be happy about.